This post is a little late, but it’s better late than never, I suppose. Devendra Banhart released an art book recently called “I Left My Noodle on Ramen Street.” He stopped by The Strand on 6/25/15 to chat about art, music, and his new book in a conversation with his friend Adam Green, of The Moldy Peaches fame. The book is a lovely combination of art, essays, photography, and doodles.
Devendra said that he wanted the book to be purely art, but the publisher wanted a more intimate and personal book. The result is that the book seems almost like an art-journal. As you may know, Devendra draws and designs all of his own album covers. The book is filled with a lot of tiny, meticulous drawings that we have all grown to love and recognize. He said that this book is the kind of music that he would like to create, and flipping through the book, it’s fascinating to see into how Devendra’s mind works and how intricately connected music and art are to him.
Devendra talked about his attempts to get an art show in a gallery and how he was rejected by all the art galleries. The frustration of this led to a series of drawings that are referred to as Sphinxes. These are permutations of different things filling up an empty space, his art-gallery surrogate. It is little stories and details like this that really help you understand what you’re looking at. Hearing him speak added another dimension of understanding to his art, music, and this book. It was really lovely and magical to be able to attend the reading.
I would really only recommend this book to Devendra-devotees; if you are a fan of his music and music videos, you are going to love this book. There is so much to look at and to learn! If you think Devendra is a weird and radical hippie, then you will probably find this book a waste of money and time. I’ve put together a little playlist for you to listen to while flipping through the book, doodling on your own, or just to lay on the rug and listen to with your eyes closed. Enjoy!
- Order the book here
- Devendra’s Tumblr
- An Art Book from Devendra Banhart that’s as Eclectic as the Man Himself: TMagazine Review
- Note: all photos and drawings in this post are by Devendra Banhart!